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Move-Away Moms Harm Kids

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Moms who take their children and move away from their children’s fathers create life-long hardship for their children. Granted there are rare exceptions when a move may be warranted. But they far rarer than NOWers admit. Generally, move-away-moms move primarily for their own best interest and not their children’s. Children who lose their biological fathers for no reason other than maternal malice, greed or other child-negating interests are children who are put at a life long disadvantage in every area from self esteem to academic success. The simple fact is, physically present biological fathers will have a vastly more significant positive influence on their children than any non-related boyfriends or step fathers will. Children who are robbed of their biological fathers are children more often at risk.

Pennsylvania law, in August 2000, recognized this and now gives the children of our commonwealth at least a fighting chance to prevent a malicious mother from robbing them of their father’s presence with an unnecessary move away. The law was decided in the Gruber case where the court recognized for the first time that the monetary best interest of the mother is not identical to the best interest of the child. Now in Pennsylvania, in theory at least, a mother cannot simply pick up the children and move off to Kansas with her rich new boyfriend while harming her children in the process.

Despite this good news, there is an insidious backlash movement brewing. PCNC’s Ann Devlin aired a segment last night, 7/29/05 on the hardship women face when they cannot move away at will. We were even told children’s need for access to their father was merely archaic Pennsylvanian “provincialism.” This resurging move-away ideology has also been supported by judges like Kim Eaton of Allegheny County Pennsylvania, who recently ignored the Gruber test and decided a wealthy step father who’d only known the child for a short time was more important to the child than the child’s biological father who had been a daily presence in the child’s life for nearly ten years. Happily Eaton’s decision was overturned on appeal, and that child now lives with his biological father. But no doubt neither Judge Eaton nor others will desist in their attempts to choose maternal greed over good parenting. What makes this particularly frightening is that the move to embrace economics over inalienable rights seems to be a national trend in other areas as well; we merely need to remember Justice Souter’s Supreme Court decision that turned eminent domain into imminent domain in Connecticut.

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About carmine

  • Amaris Auslender
  • EM

    Right on the money! It’s not about what’s best for the moms; it’s about what’s best for the kids! I’m going through this situation as the dad of a boy whose mom wants to move him away, and found this post on google. It’s encouraging to see that not everyone believes the lie that children belong to and with their mother, and her alone.

  • know it all and entitled

    To the loving granny,
    You sound like my ex’s mom dripping with disgust…he beat me 3 months into our marriage and I was 3 weeks pregnant, he and his mother told me it was my fault and now are trying to take my 2 year old away from me bc I am remarried and pregnant. My daughter has never lived with my ex, he has never been a father, his father beat him…look up those statistics…think if you had a daughter…I posed that question to my ex and his reply was “ill teach my daughter not to yell at her husband so she doesn’t deserve to get beat” and yet there are laws to keep kids safe from abuse? Then why do 80% of abusive men who go after custody gain it, then subsequently abuse their children? My children are precious and deserve a life without abuse, its my fault I married this man but my daughter and family shouldn’t have to pay.

  • J. Jax

    Judge Eaton is a rotten biased witch. She doesnt care about kids. She just loves placing kids wherever she wants. And when a child cries abuse she calls them liars. Never go into her court. She is racist, biased and ignorant. Moms arent even.allowed to SPEAK in her court. She places kids with the parent with the most money! Sounds like she takes bribes to me!

  • mom

    lets see how many fathers stick around if there not forced to pay child support

  • Abby

    Im a mother…. Ive been deciding on moving with my 2 year old child… NOT because it benifits my selfish needs.. we live in a dead end town. I believe my son can do GREAT things… but I dont think great things can be done in this town.My sons father is basically a father when HE wants to be or when it will benifit him. He sees my son a few hours every second or third day. He will also make plans with us and then blow them off because a “friend” showed up and expects us to wait all day for him.. Hes bought my son a few things he actually needs other then that its toys or birthday gifts and christmas gifts. Im the main provider putting food in his stomach and clothes on his back, I get no support because he chooses not to work becuase he knows he wont be forced to pay support. What Im trying to say is… I see opertunity in moving for my child not only myself… theres much more to do in a bigger city for him activity wise as theres nothing really child oriented here, as well as better schools for when the time comes. And yes theres better school and job opertunitys for myself as well..so it also benefits me and I have thought long and hard about moving and Im still at a cross roads as of if I should or not move.. what will be best for my child.. and right now it is leaning on the moving side… It not like i wont let my sons father see him… he will just have to put much more effort into seeing him if we do… because in my opinion… hes taking it for granted.Ive told him countless times that he can see our child and stay with us if needed when he visits. But hes not the reason I want to move.. as I stated I feel my son would have much more oppertunitys if we were to move to a bigger city. And I would also have better oppertunities to go to school and get a jobs that will actually benifit my child as well, and give him the things and life he deserves.

  • amy charles

    More attacks on moms, nice.

    I’m a custodial mom who wrote daily visitation into the decree. My ex has some problems that made extended stayovers inadvisable, but I still felt it was important that he be in our child’s life. Now he’s finally found a girlfriend — and within five months of starting to date this woman, he’s decided to move away to her town, and cut his visitation days in half.

    He’s been deeply unpleasant to deal with all along, and I should be saying “good riddance”. Instead I just hurt for my kid. Someday she’ll be old enough to understand the kinds of choices he made, and how much they had to do with his needs rather than her own.

    I patiently await the call to court so that the girlfriend can try to skin us out of child support via my his actions. Lotsa luck to her, I’m way ahead of her.

    The kicker? He goes around trying to tell people that I have borderline personality disorder. Apparently this is the new “It’s her fault, she made me do it.” Fortunately I’ve lived here a lot longer than he has, and people know me pretty well, know how seriously to take what he says.

  • sandra

    I agree to a degree, if the father is looking after his child and spending quality time together than yes I agree. My husband had left us 5 weeks ago, without even trying to see can we work it out and reconcile. Our child is 4 years old, nearly 5 and all of those years he paid little or no attention to him, our family outings were going food shopping on sundays, he took him to the park 3 times, he never really did much with him. Now when he left he still can’t spend any quality time with the child, he’s coming home for a diner every evening and spends 30 mins tops in play or conversation with the child. Or still goes with us to do food shopping at the weekend. I know we still might reconcile after it sinks what he really did but if not I’m seriously thinking of moving far away with the child to be closer to my family and have some support.


    Thank you jdcarmine. I know about the organization. I applaud their efforts certainly and I am in touch with them also. I sent them a small contribution a few days ago ironically. Of course what I sent was a very small amount and I imagine so many fathers cannot afford much more either. It seems their efforts (understandably so) are confined mainly to Massuchusetts.

    This is a lobby/money issue where feminist groups receive millions from taxpayer money, the govt profits from child support and jailing fathers, and kidnapping their children….
    It is truly a mess and driven by greed and corruption and double standards, and vilification of fathers. I see no end in sight. There are too many incentives for things to remain as they are. I would wonder how many of these people so quick to deny good fathers access to their own children would tolerate this cruelty if they were the ones denied access to their own child?

  • jdcarmine

    Ronny, I completely agree with you! There is a wonderful organization of which I am a member: fathersandfamilies.org They have pushed to make Parental Alienation Syndrome a consideration for mothers to lose custody. Yes third wave feminism has been nothing but an excuse for child abuse and father absence.


    Ronny May 8, 2011 at 1:09 pm #
    Take things to their logical conclusion. Fathers and children diserve a relationship. But how many times is the mother selfish or using the court system and the father as a tool to hurt the father? In the process the courts and the mother end up hurting the child as well. The child is a composite of both parents and to tell the child that dad “doesn’t matter”, which is exactly what you are communicating to the child, and what many malicious mothers want expressed flagrently to hurt any good dad in the worst way, is to tell the child 1/2 of them does’nt matter either. How is this in the “best interest of the child”? It is not.

    Further, losing one parent is a debate for you? Not if you are the parent and/or child and not if you know you are a good parent. The only ones who would agree with move aways are feminists “helping women” and lawyers and the government who make money by this legalized kidnapping. Again, how often are you feeding into the malicious plans of a malignant mother when you allow this?

    If there is a move, and the mover is making an improvement in their life financially, let them compensate the parent left behind who now will have added costs and burdens to see his own child. Why doesn’t the family court system look at what would be just instead of ruinning the father’s life. It is no wonder many fathers simply give up. They have nothing left.

    Move aways have so many ramifications and place an extreme strain on the relationship of the father and child. Is this not playing into the malicious mother’s goal? As a separate unit, this not only wreaks havoc with the bonding of father and child, but the places financial burdens, time burdens and oftne loss of career as the father struggles to maintain a relationship with the child. With the malicious mother moved out of state, what is to stop her from starting to make excuses, “car doesn’t work”, “junior wants to go over a friend’s this weekend”……….What protection does the father and child have against this abuse? Unless he has infinite amount of money and can pull strings, the average father will have NO recourse.

    The reality is mothers can be abusive. In these cases, abusive mother displayed abusive and selfish behavior in the marriage. And then placed all the blame on the father. Go to court, vilify him and get everything, including being able to move out of state eventually. the mother, who receives a professional degree for a better life out of state was more than likely helped by her husband and was supposed to give him a hand up the ladder. Instead, she gets what she wants from him, blames him, divoreces, moves out of state all with the full blessing of the state.

    Good fathers are then not allowed to be fathers and abusive mothers are rewarded and encouraged by a corrupt system. This is from a “family” court system that many people would describe over all as incompetent or biased against fathers. These are violations of basic human rights of fathers and children.

  • Amy

    My husband is the man and unfortunately the dad they are talking about in the above article. His former wife moved with his kids and her new husband half way across the country. He pays thousands of dollars a month and gets to see his kids a couple of times a year. It is so expensive to fly out there rent a car/hotel/plane ticket and the kids are now not apart of our family, their dads family and their moms family who lives by us as well. It is terribly unfortunate, and the only reason she moved is to start over with her new husband. He misses them terriblly!

  • Joe

    The mother of my two children 1 & 2 just up and left when I was at work, good thing I called home before my daughter got out of school, If I didn’t she (9) would have been stuck outside till I got home at 6:30pm. She left for an Internet affair never met this person. I have not heard from them since. My daughter & I are sick with worry & with missing them, I am doing all I can to get help for my children but every state & law office turns me away, telling me there’s nothing they can do. I do not know if they are OK, I love my children with all my heart and will keep trying , I will find a way to get them the help they need & deserve, they have the right to a normal life.

  • Socks65

    There seem to be a lot of generalizations on father in this blog. The statistics posted are good information but too easily can be misconstrued. For example: “20.0% of non-custodial mothers pay support at some level
    61.0% of non-custodial fathers pay support at some level” could simply be because there are more non-custodial fathers then mothers, not becasue the non-custodial fathers are more responsible. I believe statistics serve a certain purpose but it is still jsut numbers on paper. I have to agree with Steve S. when he said “When it comes to the statistics, I have to fall back on my life experiences.”
    I am a move away Mom. My children were close to their father until he himself moved to the next state over. He was never consistent with his visits with his kids and constantly changed the weekends he would ‘choose’ to see them. I was constnatly having to explain to them why Daddy was not coming agin this weekend. I never said a bad word to them about him becasue I did not feel this is right. He also never paid his child support on time, treated the children like his property rather then the people they really are. When I wanted to move to Arizona to better our lives he signed off on the court papers to let us move in exchange for money. He constnatly maninulated the children, and in our last court battle when things did not go his way he simply stopped respnding the the order to sign the paperwork to continue the proceedings.
    All four of our children do not wish to speak to him even though I have told them, especially now that they are adults, that they might want to consider communication if not for him then for themselves for closure. You might be thinking I did this to my kids and turned them against him but even though I felt he did not deserve the wonderful children he has I did not want to hurt them by encouaging them to break communication.
    Do I regret moving farther away from him with them? No. Simply because he himself made it clear that the kids were second to everything else in his life. In fact, several years after we moved to Arizona he and his latest wife moved to Texas from the Pacific Norhtwest where we previously resided. Now, he not only moved all those miles from where his family lived and he grew up he also was still just as far away from his own children.
    As the kids mother I would have loved it if they all could have maintained a healthy relationship in spite of our divorce. I gave the benefit of the doubt to try and help make this happen until I could no longer watch them get hurt by him.
    Yes, children do need their fathers, when those fathers are willing to be fathers.
    When talking about children needing to be clsoe to their fathers I am sorry but not all biological fathers are a good influence and not all step-fathers are evil tormentors who do not love their non-biological children. When the biological father is a terrible parent and the non-bilogical father is not is it fair for the biological father to be able to interfer in what direction this family takes themselves just becasue the courts say he can? I think not. I feel these cases need to be taken case by case and not generalized with staistics and lumping everyone together.

  • jdcarmine

    Divorce is just about always child abuse, but the psychologists and lawyers and judges and women’s studies teachers certainly don’t seem to mind that part at all. After all the American economy is primarily a service economy, and the divorce/child abuse industry is perhaps one of our leading industries. So don’t anticipate much change any time soon.

  • For some couples who intend to get a divorce, they sometimes forget to ask their children about their feeling about it. They fail to see that their children may feel emotional abuse on the whole process of divorce. With the separation, as a beginning of a new life for divorced parents, children had to know their new responsibilities, including trying to do very best tot to save their kids from the bad effects of divorce.

  • Hurt Father

    Robin, I feel for you in your situation, but have you given any thought to giving your ex primary custody, moving closer to home and then you get to “see her for the summer and for Christmas Holidays and spring break”? I think the people that think that think a parent seeing the children every other weekend or “for the summer and for Christmas Holidays and spring break” are not on that side of the visitation schedule. If you think that is a fair schedule you should be the one to have such limited visitation

    In July 2008, after 10 years of marriage, my wife decided to take the children and try to move from GA to PA. I was not and am not an absentee father by any stretch of the imagination. I am the one who got the children up in the morning, took them to the school bus, helped with homework, put them to bed. stayed with them when they had nightmares (while my ex would just tell them to go back to bed), go to school meeting and events, took them to the park, coached them in soccer, etc. All the while my ex would sit on the couch and watch tv. After finding out my ex enrolled the children in school in PA 3 days after she left I was able to get an emergency hearing. The judge told her he couldn’t order her back to GA, but that she would be responsible for having the kids to me for visitation from 6:00pm Friday until 6:00 Sunday every weekend. When her layer told the judge that would be impossible since PA was 12 hours away the judge said, “She took them to PA, she can damn well figure out how to get them back here every weekend!” Her lawyer asked my lawyer to talk and they suggested that I let her move back into the GA house with the children and pay all the bills in return for every other weekend visitation. As I (wrongly) assumed that we would be able to work out the divorce and a better visitation schedule quickly, I agreed. Had I known what a crappy deal this was I would never had agreed.

    It has now been almost a year-and-a-half. If that time she has made no effort to compromise on ANYTHING. I have invited her to come to church with the kids and I as well as other functions. I have made an effort to show the children that while their mother and I aren’t living together anymore we are still their parents and love them very much. Both my daughter and I have asked for more visitation time and my wife has said no to everything.

    In October of 2008 I made a settlement and parenting plan proposal that gave her primary custody with me having very liberal visitation. I also proposed that she would have the house and all the furnishings. She summarily dismissed everything.

    Shortly after that, my daughter (who is 10) broke down and told me that she doesn’t want to live with her mother and wanted to know why she couldn’t live with me. This would happen every Sunday night she was with me when I was putting her to bed. She would tell me that her mom didn’t spend any time with her, wouldn’t tuck her back in if she had a nightmare. didn’t play with her or pay any attention to her. I decided that it was in the children’s best interest to fight for custody.

    We went through a custody evaluation where I told the truth and my ex and her family (who all have the agenda to get the children to PA) lied about things to make me look bad. The decided that my ex should have primary custody, I should have liberal visitation and that the judge should NOT allow the children to be moved from GA as it would be emotionally damaging to them to be moved from me.

    We go to court in May and my lawyer thinks we have a shot at keeping the children in GA but warns me not to get my hopes up. If things don’t go my way I will have to figure out how to sell the house and find a job up to PA where I know nobody (at least my ex has an uncle that lives 20 minutes away down in GA). This will be tough given the economic times we live in.

    My point to this long (and somewhat rambling) post is that my children’s lives are in GA. They have only attended school here. Their friends are here. There father and mother (at least right now) are here. A child psychologist has stated that a move would be emotionally damaging for the children. Yet despite all that, my ex still says that it is in the children’s best interest to move to PA. She says this only because it is in her best interest and she assumes that anything in her best interest is in the children’s best interest.

    Parents have to put their own feelings aside in divorce and custody cases. Custody and visitation matter are ONLY about the best interest of the children and parents have to understand that their best interests are not always the children’s best interests.

    Sorry for the long post.

  • Tess

    Wait a minute…couldn’t we just as easily talk about this issue in terms of selfish stay-put dads who refuse to relocate themselves in order to be near their child after the move-away mom has established residence where she is best able to provide for the child? Why is it the mom’s sole responsibility to make the sacrifice to live where it is not most suitable for her in order to maintain proximity to the dad, whose preference is to stay put? Why are move-away moms so much more criticized than move-away dads who can pursue their own best interests by moving away from their child without any court interference or sanction? If keeping Bubba near Daddy is of such supreme importance that Mom should sacrifice her own welfare and best interests, then the courts could provide sanctions to discourage Daddy from moving away too, but they do not. Moms have rights too, y’all, and Dads have just as much responsibility to preserve proximity as Moms do. It’s just too bad the courts and society in general doesn’t see it that way.

  • ted smith

    my sons mother took my son and moved away in december of last year. I was refused the opportunity many times by her to see my son. on her sporadic whims was i able to see my son for an hour or two(literally). we had a court order dated in may of 08, and then updated in november, and then again on december 11, 2008. shortly thereafter she moved in the middle of the night and i found out that she had married a member of the united states army. she didnt notify me or the courts that she was moving and has not updated her address or phone number as required in the court order. I provide for my son through child support. She moved away to

    1. keep me away from my son and
    2. be with her husband if she had gone through the courts our custody would have been modified and she would be more than able to move where she so desires. To just up and leave with a standing court order in place opens the door for petitions of contempt of orders for custody/visitation to be filed against them. to move where it is beneficial for the parent is one thing, to move where it is beneficial for the child is another matter all together. My sons mother is currently in contempt and i am filing another petition to have them start imposing the sanctions that come along with it. Fines and possible imprisionment if she does not comply with the december court order giving me shared custody of my son. yes it it a two way street for mothers and fathers. what it comes down to is the love that both have for their child. I have handled this case from the start without a lawyer and so far i have been right every time with my arguments and case facts. SO IF FOR WHATEVER REASON YOU DO NOT HAVE AN ATTORNEY/LAWYER DO NOT GIVE UP. EVERY CHILD DESERVES TO SEE THEIR PARENTS. LOCAL LAW LIBRARIES HAVE THE NECESSARY FORMS TO DO ANYTHING THAT YOU NEED TO GET DONE.
    [personal contact info deleted]

  • Dennis

    Hello I’ve spend a bit of time reading these posts and must say a very wide range of opinion here and hurt feelings. I for one will find out tomorrow if my soon to be ex wife will be able to move 10 hrs away with our 5 year old daughter and 3 year old son. I feel sick to my stomach butI will say she is a good caring mother and she just wants to go home and i do understand it. What is hard is that i’ve have always been a dad who does all of the stuff with our kids from the beginning from the getting up at night to spell her feedings, doctor appts, taking them everywhere with me.
    I know before i moved out i had 3 job ops for her in her field non paying less than 50 k a year. The hrs for 2 of the jobs were 7am to 330 pm plus we had a person to watch our kids and workout the school times.

    When I moved out to took only 4 beer mugs and 4 steak knives and an old tv. I set up her with 3200 a month plus paid the power bill and renters insurance. I picked up my kids everyother day and every weekend. She of course wants to go home to be near family she is all alone here and its hard for her to make friends. I cant lie i find myself worrying about her as much as the kids and not a day goes by where i really dont know what is right. I love my kids we golf they love to boat and go to my teams football games and be around the guys they are just great kids.

    When I see her in pain I do feel bad but she is pissed at me she fires some ugly things in front of the kids I dont say anything back I feel like i owe her since i moved out. But after her turning down the 3 jobs chances and now she says she cant make end meet i dont know what to do. she says i dont care about my kids and all of that mess which is not true. I do the parent teach meetings i still take off work to go see there school activities i enjoy them every day like its gonna be my last.

    I now in frustration she says they are leaving and the kids will hate me because i hurt their mother by leaving but it does get old.

    I have no idea what is right i know that we both love the kids. I know that we want them to be good citizens and parents some day but how do we do it in such an ugly process?

  • Sally Smith

    This is all very interesting. After 18 yrs, my husband left for another woman. My children are now age 20 (living on his own), 19 (in college living in the dorm) and Highschool (living w/ her dad), and 10 (living w/ me). If I stayed, I would be in an apartment, struggling financially, my daughter would be a latch key kid while I built up a new career—BUT we would all be lving near. When I decided to move out of state to be w/ my fiance, in a home, a nice neighborhood, great schools, healthy relationship and step siblings my daughter’s age, I felt it was the better option than staying in an apartment complex, dealing w/ a father who fell behind on child support, disrespectful, and who would either call at the last minute to cancel a weekend visit w/ the kids, or do just the opposite and expect them to drop all their plans and leave with him. My oldest son was into partying with his friends, and none of the siblings took any time with their little sister. Now that we’re gone, there’s a change of heart and they all want us back. But now I’ve set up our new life, looking out for the best interest of my youngest–to move back would be further disruptive, and put me back in the dysfunctional circumstances I left behind. I want to plan wknds together once a month, taking turns at each other’s towns. My older kids are refusing to visit me though, and are resentful that I’ve moved. This all happened in the past 6 months, so I am confident in thinking we can work through it. I want my older kids to see that I’ve done what was best for their little sister.

  • moved

    I am a single mom of 3. One handicapped and 2 learning disabled. My ex left me for someone in a different state (high school reunion). We currently lived in a state in the North – neither of us had family. I filed for divorce and relocation to the South (800 miles away) for family support. The decision was difficult and I wondered if it was the right one. He gets summers, vacations and I pay for them to go and 3 trips to come and visit. He refused to move back to the “home” state or the new state in the south. We were both highly educated and professionals.
    My mute child who was suicidal and handicapped before, failing every grade (even had a pdoc)? After move and more family support? Ran for student council and won. No longer suicidal, self esteem thru the roof, making strides in her illness and was ambassador for a fundraiser!
    My average middle child? Making straight A’s and tagged as gifted. More friends, bf and going to college in the winter months on weekends for engineering and marine biology……5th grader!!
    Lastly, my little one. Before we left, scared, cried alot and depressed. Now? In football, exceling and given the best student in school award!
    I agree that the fathers should be present in the childrens lives. However, in my situation LOTS of family was better for my children than staying in an area where the father was the only support every other weekend. What about the other weekends when mom had noone? If mom is happy she teaches and passes that onto the children and they THRIVE. Mine did anyway and they thank me every day for hanging on and hanging in. I would love for my ex to choose the children over the girlfriend and move to the area we are in so the children get to experience the FULL family. He simply is too selfish to do so. I saw my situation as this:
    Stay in State with no family: Children get mom and dad. That is it. Only role models/supporters.
    Move: Children get mom and dad and gma/gpa, aunts, uncles, cousins. Love Love everywhere. Lots of role models, lots of support.
    Yes they see less of their dad – but we have not seen a negative to it yet. The secret????
    1 Daily phone calls….I mean daily 8pm. When they are with either parent.
    2 Webcam…..they see either parent…webcam daily.
    3 He gets every vacation he wants…yes that means the impt ones….Christmas, easter, Turkey day and 2 months in the summer.
    4 I hang his picture in my house and his family. Yes I have to admit I didnt like this one but it became easy after a bit and it was not that bad after awhile.
    5 Postcards carry cheap postage….send them often.
    6 Make the visits spread out every 3 months. It can be done and is fairly easy when you get a calendar and mark it up. They get a copy too. Mom in Pink…Dad in blue.
    7 Email….they email and have their own email address….of course both parents know it is checked.
    8. Text a good morn and good nite. When we do visit a place we send a quick PIX. Even a single moment is shared.
    All situations are different and I think to pass a law prohibiting a parent from moving or staying is not productive or thinking of the kids. The parent will no doubt be resentful and the kids will be affected anyway. I believe that all things can and should be worked out. Maybe for these cases a mediator should be hired and consulted? Not sure but I can tell you I tried to stay for 2 years and we all suffered and spiraled downward.
    I moved and I am happy and so I have more energy and support so they are happier. They are thriving.
    I do feel for the ones left behind. Truly I do…but when I look at my situation…my ex loved his kids enough to know he had to let them go. Giving them a gift of family. He knew he could not be there every time to lift my daughter into her wheelchair and care for her while I ran errands. She misses 5 days a month and I needed family to work outside the home. He loved them enough to give them their mom. How cool is that?
    Someday I wish he would change his mind and move here but until then? I thank him for being a father that understood that quality time with the kids is not about quantity time all the time and they will have a happy mom, full family to lean on and a dad waiting in the wings, ready to accept, love and live with them even at a distance.
    My heart goes out to all of you. I am not a fan of divorce and the children are the casualty. By all means if possible stay close – both parents. But really really take the time to look at the situation from a objective perspective and do what is RIGHT for the children even when it hurts.
    For those wanting to know? Yes, I would have done the exact same if the situation was reversed. My ex did not have family were he was going so he did not want the kids to be amiss from the family atmosphere where I am now and felt he could not work and take care of the complex situations my 3 children carry.
    Best of luck to you all and let us not let the law make the best choices for our children. We have seen the ramifications of that in our history already. Peace I leave with you all.

  • Shauna

    What’s best and what is reality are two entirely different things. As a loooonnnng time single parent and as a person with a brother who is a single parent I have seen all sides of the gambit via friends and family.
    There is NO one right answer for ever circumstance and it is ignorant to think there is.
    I believe and know that some times the “wrong” parent “wins”, so to speak. I’ve seen women forced to move for work because A) men typically make more money than women that’s is fact, B) During “the relationship” most women’s careers have been centered around the husbands time table so that she can be available to the family should there be “emergencies” as the husband is generally “the Bread winner” How often does the school call Dad to pick up the children when someone is sick? (Limiting the wife’s ability to continue to elevate her career in turn make more money and ultimately be more capable of supporting a single parent lifestyle and C) most fathers will only pay exactly what they have to as ordered by the judge regardless of what circumstances have changed in their children’s main household. I’ve seen a lot of parents enjoy the hardships faced by the other parent when they moved forward with their lives. Just sitting back waiting for the phone call crying “I can’t do it”.
    On the other side of the fence I’ve seen wives walk away only to continually threaten custody if the husband does anything to “rub her the wrong way”.
    I’ve also seen shared custody week to week be very successful. BUT in those cases both are committed to the children, neither would sacrifice their ex partners well being for the sake of his / her own well being. EVERY child, two active parents or NOT is better healthier and safer when their main care giver is “good”. Whether that’s financial security, closer to those that support them all the time and not just when it’s convenient or a desire to leave what was lived and move on with their lives.
    Many parents that are still together raise their children apart…does the armed forces mean anything to anyone, people who work over seas or up north on drilling rigs, those in a sales position that travel consistently, it’s about the commitment to the children and NOT the ongoing control of one parent by another. Children do not and should not be a “ball and chain” attached to your ex partner.
    Children ultimately will make their own choices with age. Confidence in your parental role and the actions you’ve taken and will take to fulfill that roll will be the deciding factor as to whether a child will be damaged or not. The move it’s self whether it be the father moving after a split or the mother moving after a split will not be the deciding factor regarding the success of the child’s future.

  • Just some thoughts

    People make decisions that forever change their lives. Those decisions that a person makes reflects on those around them. Unfortunately the decisions that were made impacted all the lives involved. Unfortunately the reflections of those decisions put the responsibility on one person at no fault of their own.

    You will not hear to the specifics or the original and essential issues of the inconsistent and contradictory truths or facts. The truth and facts have been told, I know that the truths and facts that I have brought up and unforgettably will not be the subject of conversations to those individuals.

    It is unquestionably and undoubtedly about facts that were never addressed that have now come back to haunt and understandably persuade those that were not at all liable and accountable for the actions and events that established culpability and guilt on someone that was never given the opportunity to defend and/or support themselves in this particular proceeding that had no justification.

    These proceedings that have now become the subject of irresponsibility and fault due to someone else’s imperfections! It is easy to criticize and decide the deficiency of a person that you have never known and will probably never know, because of the unspoken truths of that situation they were never implicated in.

    I have made some very difficult decisions in the past, some which cost me a relationship with all my Children, something that unforgettably and undoubtedly has caused me as well as them some excruciating pain. Brought upon by another persons procedures and decisions!

    I have made every attempt and every bit of my strength to make some arrangements for over a decade to have some kind of relationship with My Children. It was FORBIDDEN & PROHIBITED!!! The only blame that I am responsible for was the decision that I made, an unforgettable choice I will pay for the rest of this life. By the way we do have Joint Custody.

    I understand now, it was better that I never had contact with them so that I do not go through the agony of not thinking about them all the time. I understand now, that I should have made myself disappear so that no one could have established a connection.

    I understand now, it is going to be a difficult journey trying to put all of this damage and this excruciating pain behind us all. These sacrifices will be detrimental to the effects it will have on the situation and those people involved.

    The fact is I followed the law. The fact that I followed the law has not only angered my ex, but also my children. I was prevented, prohibited, disallowed, and barred from seeing my children for more than a decade now. It is difficult not to personally attack someone that has caused pain to all individuals concerned.

    Those individuals that pursue the perfections of any type of relationship with another should be given the opportunity to do so without complications. The understanding I have about the law, has nothing to do with whether or not the child support is coming, the fact is that visitation and child support are two separate entities.

    Why an individual should be punished with visitation, because child support is not coming directly to the custodial parent? The child support is going to the correct department, but yet the individual is upset. Is there no law that prevents a person from using child support as a way to keep visitations from the other parent? I know the State I lived in does not have one at this time.

  • Lorna

    I couldn’t agree with Robin more. The problem with legislating custody is that everyone’s situation is so different. I moved to a small town to put my ex through school. I paid for his schooling, supported him when he got a job, and remained in the small town because he liked it here. Now that we are divorced, he has remarried (to a woman half his age). I got laid off and got a great job offer out of the area with better schools for the kids. My ex teaches so he has summers and vacations off. However, due to recent case law, my ex will not allow me custody of the kids during the school year, even though I will pay for them to be with him summer and vacations and pay him child support since I will be making 3 times as much money as he does. So, under current law, I will probably get the kids on their vacations, when I am working, and their dad is on break. How is that good for anyone?

  • Robin

    I’ve read all of these comments and I agree with most but disagree with a few. I am a single mom made to stay in a province with no family support and trying to make ends meat. I know the father is a great father and I am not wanting to loose that and I agreed to compromise in seeing our daughter. I was willing to let him see her for the summer and for Christmas Holidays and spring break. All I wanted was to move home, closer to family. I feel so alone. So unless you know the situation no one has the right to judge. I feel like I am held against my will when all I want is to have a better life for my children and I and being surrounded by family and friends wether it be the need for a mother or a child is something that is a need.I’ve been trying so hard to make it here but it’s so overwhelming and when you don’t have someone to turn to makes it worse. I miss the family bbq’s and having birthday parties where all the kids can go to. So if anyone has an answer for this please help me or let me know.

  • Kimberly

    As a mom of two and remarried with a husband of one I can see both sides of the spectrom. Parents should try to get along despite there problems the kids are the ones who in the end are hurt. Some parents dont know what it is to be there and some want desperatly to be there but are knocked away by the other parent who has custody.We have fought for 10 years to see my sweet step daughter and I’ve watched her be hurt by the lies she was told over and over again.It takes someone to pick up the phone and let the child talk when dad or mom calls. To also hand the mail to them when mom or dad are trying someway to have contact.Its not about us its about the kids. Make sure what you are doing is truely in there best interest.Theres things I would tell my step daughter just so she knows daddy has been trying to write and call but why put her in the middle. I hope and pray every day for her because she has been a true blessing to us despite our trials.God bless the parent who keeps trying and does not give up!!!!!!Kimberly

  • MR Thinker

    I agree with this law, as my child has just recently moved away, because the his mom could not deal with me and her not being together anymore. It was a sad sight to see a child pried from the embrace of a loving father it was a sight that could have brought anyone to tears, he and I were devastated.

  • carmine

    There are no organizations devoted soley to whining about men’s emotional issues

  • And you don’t think “women are evil abusers of the family court system and men always get screwed over by it” is victim-speak?

  • carmine

    I think it only just to fight back, don’t you? bhw and ND have not been entirely fair. My intent is not to be mean, snide, well of course. But not mean. If you ever faced a professional victim you would understand. By the way did you see the play Oleana? Good example of NOW-think.

  • bhw

    Nope, ain’t no self-loathing woman bashing going on here.

  • Loving Grandmother

    In my vast experience, I find women not only love to play the victim, but enjoy the mess they leave behind, and the men are left to clean it up.

  • Dr. Carmine: Well, in addition to everything I noted previously, you are also a condescending, overfamiliar [edited]. I feel sorry for your spouse.

  • You’re very mean and snide, Doc

  • carmine

    Yes Nat,
    I validate your emotional pain. Women ARE such victims so sad so sad. Men such monsters so sad so sad. My wife is the primary wage earner and I the primary homemaker. But your victimization really is so so so sad.

  • Mr. Carmine may be “avidly pro-choice,” but apparently he is opposed to mothers having careers. How about fathers who work outside of the home? Do they follow their careers at the expense of their born children?

  • carmine

    It’s not woman bashing that so often goes on in these sorts of discussions; it is ‘professional victim’ bashing, and NOW, NARAL et al have made their careers as professional victims at the expense of the real victims, their BORN children. Oh, so you don’t misconstrue, I am avidly pro-choice.

  • bhw

    Women know how to play the system, they have the most to gain. The current laws ENABLE women to walk away, a financial incentive, taking the children and concealing them. All for the sake of power and control.

    You know, this women-bashing is such horseshit. Women don’t typically seek custody and child support “all for the sake of power and control.” And how exactly did they all learn to work the system? Could it be that THEIR LAWYERS are responsible for helping them in the courtroom?

    No, that can’t be it. It’s those horrible MOTHERS whose only goal in life is to control other people. Yeah, that’s it.

    The reality is that every divorce is unique. So stop with the gross generalizations and woman bashing.

  • Mom’s are the ones I see stressed out and yelling at their kids in public more often than not.

    because, more often than not, dad is at the office and mom has the kids at her feet 24/7.

  • Steve I think you have to realize your situation is one of many and I think you are basing your opinion on your very low opinion of your own dad.

    of course my opinion is based on my own world experience, as is yours and your sons. Just for clarification, my father and I have a good relationship now, but at the time of the divorce, yes we were estranged.

    My son has been fighting to see his son for almost two years now

    that is too bad, although I am not convinced that it is due to a outdated court system as much as it is due to either corrupt lawyers or incompetent lawyers. To divulge more personal info, my dad, upon the divorce dated a lawyer. He was a doctor, my mom was a housewife of several decades and he was able to get the divorce proceedings as to where he did not have to give her or us a dime. He did not have to pay any child support or support his ex-wife in any way.

    My sympathies to your son, I am not convinced that the judicial system needs an overhaul, however EVERYTHING has room for improvement. It could just very well be that your son has crappy lawyers representing him.

    That is the beauty of this country, if you know how to play the system, you can do anything.

    combining posts here:

    Kids need both for serious, but if you have to chose one, I think they need Dad more.

    only if the kids parents conform to outdated role models.

  • I think kids are probably better off with the discipline that comes from men than the nuturing that comes from women, if you have to make a choice.

    Kids need both for serious, but if you have to chose one, I think they need Dad more.

    Dads are less likely to put up with BS and excuses, cause, even if we do understand, we don’t give a shit. Just “get r done” and shut up, kid.

    Having said that, most guys today seem to be neutered and loving it.

    Its men allowing our kids to be taken away from us that has caused most of the hooliganism that has infected much of the Western youth.

    Mom’s are the ones I see stressed out and yelling at their kids in public more often than not.

  • Loving Grandmother

    I agree, Sandy.

    Women know how to play the system, they have the most to gain. The current laws ENABLE women to walk away, a financial incentive, taking the children and concealing them. All for the sake of power and control.

    Maybe someday people will wake up. Funny how years later, so many have learned the truth and are reaching out to the parent they never knew.

    If they would only share their stories.

  • Sandy

    Steve I think you have to realize your situation is one of many and I think you are basing your opinion on your very low opinion of your own dad. There are many fathers out there that want to be a part of their childrens lives and because the court sytem has not kept up with all the womens equal rights issues where they have asked the men to step up to the plate and get involved in their childrens lives, be there for the birth of their child, take care of them when they are infants so the mothers can pursue thier careers, the court system still has the old notion that the mother is the better parent and bases a lot of their decisions on that opinion. My son has been fighting to see his son for almost two years now, he has spent over $20,000 and ended up going pro se through a trial and still cannot see his son because of the court system and the way it is set up. I feel it is total abuse to the child to keep him away from a good dad, let me emphasize not perfect dad but a dad who loves his son. As far as deadbeats go my son was almost forced into that category because he kept losing one job after another because of all the time he had to miss work to go to hearings to establish visitation, mediation, hearings for restraining order attempts against him which she filed 3 of them, of course he never got a restraining order against him because everything she accused him of was lies. The courts need to start taking each case seperately and rule not on presumption that mothers are the better care-takers, instead base it on who would foster a loving relationship between the child and parent. Also maany woman today have affairs on there husbands break up the family only to expect to gain everything, the children the money and the home. Times are changing and our court system needs to change witrh them.


  • To Steve if you think that the mother gets the short end of the stick by getting the children

    no, I don’t think she gets the short end of the stick BY getting the children. I think she usually gets the children (which is the best part of the deal) AND the short end of the stick by having to be reliant upon the generousity of the individual who is more often than not, the reason for the breakup of the home in the first place.

  • Sandy

    In regards to the article, I feel if a mother wants to move, she needs to take into consideration her children and their father and realize the day she decided to become a mother she could no longer put her wants and needs first, but those of her child, and the father has to do the same. To Steve if you think that the mother gets the short end of the stick by getting the children then she is not getting them for the right reasons, yes children can be a lot of work and yes the job can be very stressful, but the rewards that come in so many different ways far supercede all the hard work and stess I endured, and I left an open door policy with my ex so he too could share those same rewards. I did it for my children because the deserved both of their parents involvement. When I read that why should a mother be restricted from moving, you have to think how the father is being restricted as well if she does move. His hands are tied, and he loses his children. I think there needs to be laws put into place that protect all parties involved, most importantly the childrens. I am a divorced mother and I was angry at my ex but I would never hurt my children by taking them away from their dad whether I thought he was a good parent or not. As far as children being forced to visit with an abusive father I think that the laws that are in place for abusive parents are enough to protect the children. There is almost zero tolerance for abuse in our legal system today. As far as saying that a single mom might want to move for financial support, speaking from experience any mother that wants support knows she can get it from the ex, again the laws are in place to put dads behind bars that don’t pay. Most dads who don’t pay child support for no reason are the same dads that don’t really want anything to do with their children sadly enough. So that leaves us with dealing with fit parents that want to be part of their childrens lives and if a mother chooses to move then I think it is up to her to either leave her children behind with their father or make sure that he still has the same amount of contact with his children at her expense. When I dated after my divorce I had rules and of course that person that I dated knew that my children were an inmportant part of my life and that because of them there were just certain things I could not do, one of them being moving away and taking my children away from their father, that is the price I paid when I decided to bring my children into this world and it is the responsibility I accepted the minute I held my son and daughter. If any of you don’t get this then read Don the 14% post and see just what a father has to go through when his children move away and I would hope that your heart goes out to him and his child.


  • Loving Grandmother

    I am not avoiding anything. Stating facts of the harm move aways do to children. Lets stick with the issue of the article, not self serving bull.

    You read too much into things. If your read my posts, I beleive when parents are BOTH FOUND FIT, they need to love the child enough to CO PARENT. Move aways destroy families. That simple.

    Some people just don’t get it.

    And what about the fathers who are deadbroke because of child support and legal expenses. They barely have enough to keep a roof over their head or food on the table. And yet, their children are being moved away, another expense to be paid by dad, just to remain in their childrens lives.

  • Nancy

    The point was – and I note you carefully avoided it – women are far more likely to end up bringing up their kids in poverty than men are. It makes far more sense for them to stay with their fathers, who can support them far more easily, than with their mothers who end up living hand to mouth (because reality is, women’s jobs pay far less than mens’) trying to scrape by on a low-salaried ‘womens’ job + public assistance of whatever kind. Should the grandparents try to stick their oars in, then they can pay for the privilege. In any event, this is a NON-issue, and hardly a statistically overwhelming situation.

  • Loving Grandmother


    Both my children have nurtured, cared for their children since birth. The only thing they were incapable of was breastfeeding. They cook, clean, take child to doctor appointments, do laundry, the works. And they LOVE it!

    Basing your reply on a fictional movie only reveals your intelligence level.

    Many mothers do abandon their children. It is nothing to laugh about. Just as fathers also abandon. It is a two way street.

    The article is about move aways and HOW children are affected by not having an active fit father in their lives.

  • Nancy

    Why do women insist on hanging on to the kids, when financially, the male is far more likely to be able to better afford to raise them? Besides, it’s a fitting revenge: let HIM take care of the shopping, feeding, disciplining, running them to school, sports, clubs, supervising homework, and general worry & aggravation that goes w/childrearing. Either that or his parents. I saw Roseanne Barr’s “She Devil” & laughed myself silly; now THAT was the right idea! He or his parents want custody? Let ’em have it – and then some.

  • Loving Grandmother

    I don’t think either of you read my posts correctly. I said FIT parents.

    Why should fathers not share in all aspects of a child’s nurturing?

    The whole idea of this article was on move aways. Many CP’s deliberately move the child from the other parent.

    Please explain how you feel that is okay?

    I simply gave you the facts and statistics to show how children are harmed when fathers are not present in a child’s life.

    “At the same time that they make the point that fathers are important they attack and demonize women.”

    Children do not divorce their parents, so why should they suffer a break up? I am NOT demonizing women. I beleive in co-parenting when both parents are FIT.

    And move aways is a very common practice of keeping the OTHER parent away. Making it an important issue.

    And this is not just about fathers, there are many non custodial moms who also have to endure their children moving away.

    You need to love the child enough, TO CO-PARENT.

  • I do not want any decent caring parent of either gender to be deprived of the right to raise his/her child or to be influential in some way. When it comes to the statistics, I have to fall back on my life experiences.

    People can show me reports that say the economy is booming at the same time that I see people around me suffering job loss or pay cuts or hours slashed, etc.

    I have to go with what I see around me, rather than what some stranger tells me.

    The same applies here. I do not think all fathers are the ‘bad guys’ here, but I do not think that mothers are the demons that loving granny portrays them as, either.

  • Also, in response to my post, you said that the 10% who don’t care about their kids can move on and rest should have equal rights, but what about those mothers OR fathers) who are abusive or unfit but still want joint (or full) custody? Do you think they should get it? My point still stands that though joint custody might be the best choice for most, that doesn’t mean it is best for all.

  • To Loving Grandmother

    I don’t believe that I ever suggested men and women were not equal or equally able to rear children. If that is the message that came across in my post, it was completely unintentional.The thing I find very encouraging about “fathers’ rights” groups is the fact that their members show such a passionate desire to be a part of their childrens’ lives, and I think that sort of dedication should be something all parents aspire to. Fathers are important in their childrens’ lives, and I’m glad to see that getting attention.

    That said, there are some things that concern me about the literature put out by these groups (bear in mind, this is only based on my looking at websites of some fathers’ rights groups over the past few days, so i’m getting the wrong read please feel free to point me to more representative sources).

    At the same time that they make the point that fathers are important they attack and demonize women.
    As someone who is just starting to read about the fathers’ rights movement, and IS open to being pursuaded (I’m sure, for instance, that old fashioned assumptions about gender roles are leading some judges to award mothers primary custody when it isn’t necessarily warrented), I find this negative focus on mothers extremely off-putting. Even you dedicate the first section of your answer to Steve to stats seeming to show that men are better parents than women. Is that really the issue? Is your argument that both parents are important, or do you think children need mothers too? I understand that fathers’ rights groups feel they are combatting a pervasive view that kids do fine without fathers, but I would hope it’s possible to do that without denigrating women.

    Also, there’s not acknowledgement that a lot of father absence (especially among the children of never-married single mothers) is due to father abandonment. Obviously this shouldn’t detract in any way from the rights of fathers who do want to be involved with their kids, but I think placing all the blame (or seeming to place all the blame) for fatherlessness on women is ridiculous, and makes the fathers’ rights groups’ arguments less persuasive to people on the fence.

  • Loving Grandmother

    to Steve S.
    I can not take the credit for this, but I think you will find the resources unquestionable. Pretty well, sums it up.

    Divorce and Fatherhood Statistics

    61% of all child abuse is committed by biological mothers
    25% of all child abuse is committed by natural fathers
    Statistical Source: Current DHHS report on nationwide Child Abuse

    79.6% of custodial mothers receive a support award
    29.9% of custodial fathers receive a support award

    46.9% of non-custodial mothers totally default on support
    26.9% of non-custodial fathers totally default on support

    20.0% of non-custodial mothers pay support at some level
    61.0% of non-custodial fathers pay support at some level

    66.2% of single custodial mothers work less than full-time
    10.2% of single custodial fathers work less than full-time

    7.0% of single custodial mothers work more than 44 hours weekly
    24.5% of single custodial fathers work more than 44 hours weekly

    46.2% of single custodial mothers receive public assistance
    20.8% of single custodial fathers receive public assistance
    Statistical Source: Technical Analysis Paper No. 42 – U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services – Office of Income Security Policy

    90.2% of fathers with joint custody pay all the support due
    79.1% of fathers with visitation privileges pay all the support due
    44.5% of fathers with no visitation pay all the support due
    37.9% of fathers are denied any visitation
    66.0% of all support not paid by non-custodial fathers is due to inability to pay
    Statistical Source: 1988 Census “Child Support and Alimony: 1989 Series P-60, No. 173 p. 6-7. and U.S. General Accounting Office Report” GAO/HRD-92-39FS January, 1992

    50% of mothers see no value in the father’s continued contact with his children.
    –See “Surviving the Breakup” by Joan Berlin Kelly

    40% of mothers reported that they had interfered with the father’s visitation to punish their ex-spouse.
    –See “Frequency of Visitation….” by Stanford Braver, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry

    63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes
    –U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census
    85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes
    –Center for Disease Control
    80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes
    –Criminal Justice and Behavior, Vol. 14, p. 403-26
    71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes
    –National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools
    70% of juveniles in state operated institutions come from fatherless homes
    –U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report Sept., 1988
    85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home
    –Fulton County Georgia jail populations & Texas Dept. of Corrections, 1992

    Translated, this means that children from a fatherless home are:

    5 times more likely to commit suicide
    32 times more likely to run away
    20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
    14 times more likely to commit rape
    9 times more likely to drop out of school
    10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances
    9 times more likely to end up in a state operated institution
    20 times more likely to end up in prison

    There are: 11,268,000 total U.S. custodial mothers and 2,907,000 total U.S. custodial fathers
    –Current Population Reports, U.S. Bureau of the Census, Series P-20, No. 458, 1991

    In a study of 700 adolescents, researchers found that “compared to families with two natural parents living in the home, adolescents from single-parent families have been found to engage in greater and earlier sexual activity.”
    Source: Carol W. Metzler, et al. “The Social Context for Risky Sexual Behavior Among Adolescents”, Journal of Behavioral Medicine 17 (1994).

    “Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, suicide, poor educational performance, teen pregnancy, and criminality.”
    Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, Survey on Child Health, Washington, DC, 1993.

    “Teenagers living in single-parent households are more likely to abuse alcohol and at an earlier age compared to children reared in two-parent households.”
    Source: Terry E. Duncan, Susan C. Duncan and Hyman Hops, “The Effects of Family Cohesiveness and Peer Encouragement on the Development of Adolescent Alcohol Use: A Cohort-Sequential Approach to the Analysis of Longitudinal Data”, Journal of Studies on Alcohol 55 (1994).

    “…the absence of the father in the home affects significantly the behavior of adolescents and results in the greater use of alcohol and marijuana.”
    Source: Deane Scott Berman “Risk Factors Leading to Adolescent Substance Abuse”, Adolescence 30 (1995)

    A study of 156 victims of child sexual abuse found that the majority of the children came from disrupted or single-parent homes; only 31 percent of the children lived with both biological parents. Although stepfamilies make up only about 10 percent of all families, 27 percent of the abused children lived with either a stepfather or the mother’s boyfriend.
    Source: Beverly Gomes-Schwartz, Jonathan Horowitz, and Albert P. Cardarelli, “Child Sexual Abuse Victims and Their Treatment”, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justce and Delinquency Prevention.

    Researchers in Michigan determined that “49 percent of all child abuse cases are committed by single mothers.”
    Source: Joan Ditson and Sharon Shay, “A Study of Child Abuse in Lansing, Michigan”, Child Abuse and Neglect, 8 (1984).

    “A family structure index — a composite index based on the annual rate of children involved in divorce and the percentage of families with children present that are female-headed — is a strong predictor of suicide among young adult and adolescent white males.”
    Source: Patricia L. McCall and Kenneth C. Land, “Trends in White Male Adolescent, Young-Adult and Elderly Suicide: Are There Common Underlying Structural Factors?” Social Science Research 23, 1994.

    ” Fatherless children are at dramatically greater risk of suicide.”
    Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, Survey on Child Health, Washington, DC, 1993.

    In a study of 146 adolescent friends of 26 adolescent suicide victims, teens living in single-parent families are not only more likely to commit suicide but also more likely to suffer from psychological disorders, when compared to teens living in intact families.
    Source: David A. Brent, et al. “Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Peers of Adolescent Suicide Victims: Predisposing Factors and Phenomenology.”, Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 34, 1995.

    “Boys who grow up in father-absent homes are more likely that those in father-present homes to have trouble establishing appropriate sex roles and gender identity.”
    Source: P.L. Adams, J.R. Milner, and N.A. Schrepf, “Fatherless Children”, New York, Wiley Press, 1984.

    “In 1988, a study of preschool children admitted to New Orleans hospitals as psychiatric patients over a 34-month period found that nearly 80 percent came from fatherless homes.”
    Source: Jack Block, et al. “Parental Functioning and the Home Environment in Families of Divorce”, Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 27 (1988)

    “Children living with a never-married mother are more likely to have been treated for emotional problems.”
    Source: L. Remez, “Children Who Don’t Live with Both Parents Face Behavioral Problems,” Family Planning Perspectives (January/February 1992).

    Children reared by a divorced or never-married mother are less cooperative and score lower on tests of intelligence than children reared in intact families. Statistical analysis of the behavior and intelligence of these children revealed “significant detrimental effects ” of living in a female-headed household. Growing up in a female-headed household remained a statistical predictor of behavior problems even after adjusting for differences in family income.
    Source: Greg L. Duncan, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn and Pamela Kato Klebanov, “Economic Deprivation and Early Childhood Development”, Child Development 65 (1994).

    “Compared to peers in two-parent homes, black children in single-parent households are more likely to engage in troublesome behavior, and perform poorly in school.”
    Source: Tom Luster and Hariette Pipes McAdoo, “Factors Related to the Achievement and Adjustment of Young African-American Children.”, Child Development 65 (1994): 1080-1094

    “Even controlling for variations across groups in parent education, race and other child and family factors, 18- to 22-year-olds from disrupted families were twice as likely to have poor relationships with their mothers and fathers, to show high levels of emotional distress or problem behavior, [and] to have received psychological help.”
    Source: Nicholas Zill, Donna Morrison, and Mary Jo Coiro, “Long Term Effects of Parental Divorce on Parent-Child Relationships, Adjustment and Achievement in Young Adulthood”, Journal of Family Psychology 7 (1993).

    “Children with fathers at home tend to do better in school, are less prone to depression and are more successful in relationships. Children from one-parent families achieve less and get into trouble more than children from two parent families.”
    Source: One Parent Families and Their Children: The School’s Most Significant Minority, conducted by The Consortium for the Study of School Needs of Children from One Parent Families, co sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the Institute for Development of Educational Activities, a division of the Charles F. Kettering Foundation, Arlington, VA., 1980

    “Children whose parents separate are significantly more likely to engage in early sexual activity, abuse drugs, and experience conduct and mood disorders. This effect is especially strong for children whose parents separated when they were five years old or younger.”
    Source: David M. Fergusson, John Horwood and Michael T. Lynsky, “Parental Separation, Adolescent Psychopathology, and Problem Behaviors”, Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 33 (1944)

    “Compared to peers living with both biological parents, sons and daughters of divorced or separated parents exhibited significantly more conduct problems. Daughters of divorced or separated mothers evidenced significantly higher rates of internalizing problems, such as anxiety or depression.”
    Source: Denise B. Kandel, Emily Rosenbaum and Kevin Chen, “Impact of Maternal Drug Use and Life Experiences on Preadolescent Children Born to Teenage Mothers”, Journal of Marriage and the Family56 (1994).

    “Father hunger ” often afflicts boys age one and two whose fathers are suddenly and permanently absent. Sleep disturbances, such as trouble falling asleep, nightmares, and night terrors frequently begin within one to three months after the father leaves home.
    Source: Alfred A. Messer, “Boys Father Hunger: The Missing Father Syndrome”, Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality, January 1989.

    “Children of never-married mothers are more than twice as likely to have been treated for an emotional or behavioral problem.”
    Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interiew Survey, Hyattsille, MD, 1988

    A 1988 Department of Health and Human Services study found that at every income level except the very highest (over $50,000 a year), children living with never-married mothers were more likely than their counterparts in two-parent families to have been expelled or suspended from school, to display emotional problems, and to engage in antisocial behavior.
    Source: James Q. Wilson, “In Loco Parentis: Helping Children When Families Fail Them”, The Brookings Review, Fall 1993.

    In a longitudinal study of 1,197 fourth-grade students, researchers observed “greater levels of aggression in boys from mother-only households than from boys in mother-father households.”
    Source: N. Vaden-Kierman, N. Ialongo, J. Pearson, and S. Kellam, “Household Family Structure and Children’s Aggressive Behavior: A Longitudinal Study of Urban Elementary School Children”, Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 23, no. 5 (1995).

    “Children from mother-only families have less of an ability to delay gratification and poorer impulse control (that is, control over anger and sexual gratification.) These children also have a weaker sense of conscience or sense of right and wrong.”
    Source: E.M. Hetherington and B. Martin, “Family Interaction ” in H.C. Quay and J.S. Werry (eds.), Psychopathological Disorders of Childhood. (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1979)

    “Eighty percent of adolescents in psychiatric hospitals come from broken homes.”
    Source: J.B. Elshtain, “Family Matters… “, Christian Century, Jully 1993.

  • Loving Grandmother

    For T A DODGEr

    That is all well and good, let the 10% who don’t care, move on. But the 90% who do, should have every right to parent a child along with the mother. I beleive they call it EQUALITY.

  • “But statistics show the importance a father plays in a child’s development.

    There are millions of fit fathers wanting to be a part of their child’s lives. Why should they be punished for 10% of Fathers who do nothing. Is that fair?”

    Of course the actions of the 10% of bad fathers should not be held against the %90 who want to play an active and positive role in the lives of their children. The problem I have with your reasoning is that is seems to support forcing the children of the bad %10 to have continued contact with a bad father just because most fathers are good. You just can’t assume that parents going through divorce are the “average couple” and then make laws limiting divorce or forcing joint custody just because children do better with both parents. If people end up in the middle of an acrimonious custody case, there’s a pretty good chance they don’t represent that average couple that would raise such well adjusted kids together.

    Yes it is better ON AVERAGE for children to be with both parents. That does not mean a child is better off staying in contact with an unfit or abusive parent.

    Yes, children ON AVERAGE do better when their parents stay together instead os splitting up / divorcing. Don’t you think that might have something to do with the fact that the couples who stay together have, on average, happier relationships in the first place? I love both my parents, but they don’t love each other and that’s ok with me. I’d rather be raised by two parents i see seperately than by one constantly bickering, miserable couple.

    Yes children, ON AVERAGE, do better seeing both parents on regular basis, but that’s because the average parent is not abusive, neglectful, or unfit. This fact should not be used to create a family law standard where children are forced to stay in contact with a parent who is unfit.

    If I could show you evidence that, on average, divorced women are better caregivers for their children than divorced men (and I am IN NO WAY claiming that that’s the case, just constructing a hypothetical), would you say that the family courts should always favor the ex-wife over the ex-husband? Of course not, because it is wrong to take information about how certain custody situations affect children ON AVERAGE and use that information to craft laws limiting the discretion courts need to make case-by-case decisions about what is right for each individual family.

  • Don, the 14%er

    —Shopping for One, Again—
    The mother of my sweetheart
    wants to break our bond apart.
    She took the object of my affection
    away and caused such alienation.
    Now when I go to the grocery store,
    I daydream, and stare at the floor.
    My ex-wife moved and took our son.
    And so, again, I’m shopping for one.
    There’s rice crispies, and I need cereal.
    But it’ll be summer before I get to see him.
    I’ll just wait, that stuff’ll be stale
    by the time he gets here; oh well.
    Guess I’ll buy the jalapeno or sharp cheddar;
    he won’t be here or know any better.
    I reach for our usual syrup, then my eye passes
    to the top shelf, and I get the molasses.
    He don’t like that sugar cane stuff, but
    I ate it all the time while I was growing up.
    Here’s five peaches – but I’ve forgotten,
    if I get all five, they’ll just get rotten.
    I start for the cool aid, then stop myself.
    He’s not here. I leave it on the shelf.
    There’s the toys – something he might like?
    No. I’ll save my money, maybe buy a flight
    to go see him a couple times a year,
    not like I used to when he lived near.
    His mom moved away but I don’t miss her a bit.
    My heart is hamburger. I miss my kid.
    — Don Mathis

  • my concern is that we all have to live under restrictive legislation for the actions of a few. Can you provide statistics from a legitimate NON-BIASED source that proves that those horribly evil divorced women is a rampant issue, and that deadbeat dads are such a rarity because the man is so noble?

    My concern goes beyond just move-away moms. There is a movement, a Christian movement afoot, destined to remove rights from women. They are assaulting (politically) the Supreme Court via nominations in an attempt to get Roe v. Wade overturned. They put out gender specific bibles telling women to obey their husband. And now they are demonizing mothers. It’s just all sickening and disgusting.

    Due to societies tendency to get divorced at the drop of a hat, I now know dozens of divorced couples. A few cases, it’s amicable and a joint decision, in ALL other cases, the woman might get the children but she also gets the short end of the stick. I know of no case where the woman is the evil predator that this movement makes her out to be.

    But you know what? It’s a woman’s place to defend herself, she can count on my support but more of them should be speaking up here on their own behalf, if they choose not to, I’m not going to go out of my way to defend someone who doesn’t want to defend themselves.

  • Loving Grandmother

    You both sound very bitter.

    But statistics show the importance a father plays in a child’s development.

    There are millions of fit fathers wanting to be a part of their child’s lives. Why should they be punished for 10% of Fathers who do nothing. Is that fair?

    How many mothers delibertly conceal children? Is that fair? How would you like your children concealed from you? Would that be fair?

    Is it fair to move children all over the country, trying to avoid participation from the Father? Who is more important, a family unit or a loving parent?

    Do you have any idea on how many fathers do move to be close to their children? How many have to move again, because the CP moves again?

    Sounds like control is coming from someplace else.

    I should also remind you, the numbers of NC moms who face this same issue. Do you feel they should have frequent contact with their children?

  • parker hit the nail on the head. Some families need to be busted up. My parents divorced when I was 17, and I had two younger sisters (and one older) who had to deal with the divorce too.

    For ten years, my mom should have gotten out, but she stayed in the relationship ‘for the kids’. That is the worst thing you can do. Like we don’t know the misery all around us. It would have been far better for them AND for us for them to have split up when the love died.

    Also, my dad did not pay a dime towards us upon the divorce (which was due to years of his infidelity). My mom, who was a housewife/mother for 23 years, suddenly found herself with four kids and no source of income and no job history.

    And people want legislation passed where we would be forced to interact with a parent who we do not want in our lives?

    Thanks but no thanks.

  • If a mother needs to move to another state, what’s to keep the father from moving there too? After all, if that would be best for the children, that’s what a proper father should do.

    I’m really tired of everyone trying to blame everything on the mother. I clothe, feed, and love my child. I supply all the money and attention for my child, the father does nothing. He’s only bothered to see my child once. Never paid a dime in child support. So why is it wrong for me to move near family and/or a better paying job?

    So much of this is about controlling the mother and children as property. If the dad really cared, he’d move, too.

  • Loving Grandmother

    I agree with Jeremy and Carmaine.

    Rising children is very challenging, whether your mom or dad. Having both influences in a child’s life, can only be ‘the best interest of the child.’

    Legislation should be put into place, preventng move aways. It destroys children and the family unit.

    Any parent who loves their child, knows this is not the RIGHT move.
    You need to love your children enough to co-parent.

    Anyone wanting to agrue this, I have plenty of statistics to back me up.

  • Jeremy

    If a PARENT is fit by no means should the other PARENT be allowed EVER to move away with CHILDREN. Children NEED & WANT both Parents. The law should stop allowing KIDNAPPING! You can sugar coat it or try and word it anyway you want. But taking a PARENTS children away without there consent is KIDNAPPING no matter what any BIASED, DISCRIMINATING JUDGE thinks.

    Jeremy in Pittsburgh

  • Kevin

    I agree with the main topic that the custodial parent moving away is not in the child’s best interest, most of the time. All of the evidence and even common sense tells us that children do best (next to an intact marriage) with continuing and frequent contact with both parents (joint/shared custody).
    Therefore, that is where we should start after a separation or a divorce, joint or shared physical custody. (none of this useless shared legal custody bunk).
    With joint/shared custody, both parents are treated as parents and not one visitor and one primary parent. Then, if one parent decides to move, the reason had better be pretty darn good. And if he or she decides to move, then the children stay with the other parent.
    True, both parents may have to forego their ‘dreams’ until the children are out of high school, but then again, they knew that when they decided to sleep with that person and create these children.

  • And personnaly I would have prefered if my mother had moved away with us, istead of doing the “Staying for the children” bit. This whole post seems to address the good fathers. Well there aren’t only all-good ones out there. A woman who decides to move away will also not do it to be with a sugar-step-daddy all the time. They need to get away from destructive elements.

  • Yeah. Moms who move away is a pretty tiny segment of the divorced population–far, far smaller than the dad who leaves town. But sure, either way it’s tough. Think about how powerful the evidence is now that even shared custody–where kids are shuffled back and forth between houses–is bad for kids, too. Let’s face it–divorce is hard on kids, even when it’s the best thing in the long run.

    We become who we will be by the way we meet the challenges and obstacles we face throughout our lives. We’ll never be able to legislate away the effects of who are parents are–whether we grow up with them or not.

  • far far and away, it is the father who abandons the mother and child. That would be a far bigger issue than move-away moms.

  • You make some excellent points in this article and I have a question for you. Under this Pennsylvania law, are non custodial fathers allowed to move away at will?

  • ocinrime

    i agree that move away moms create a hardship for the kids. that hardship is a lifelong feeling that something’s missing, a not knowing of where they come from.

    but i’d also have to say i think fathers need to step up their game a bit. they need to become more fatherly. They need to take more responsibility and i don’t mean financially. they need to evolve as parents.

    I was a move away mom. i deemed my daughter’s father as not a good role model. then i came to my senses. my daughter has to know him for who he is, whatever that may be, regardless of my judgement of him, unless of course he was emotionally or physically abusive, in which case no one could stop me from moving away.

    but for every child there is a lesson to learn from both parents but children have to have the opportunity to know each of their parents and make their own decisions.

    children are wiser than we think and can see through the games and the ruse. they know when they’re being manipulated. they can come to their own conclusions and they should be given that opportunity.

    with that i would also say that a mom who moves away for her interests is generally protecting the interests of the child. Otherwise why would she move? if she’s moving to get a better job, well, she’s looking to better support her child. if she moves away to be closer to her own family, she’s moving for support because raising children is not easy.

    i doubt that many women move think to themselves — this move is really going to benefit me and it might benefit my child. I’m sure they’re thinking, will this benefit my child?

    I argue that if men became more parental, perhaps there would be fewer moms moving away.